8/16 Zim’s WWE NXT TV Review: Drew McIntyre vs. Roderick Strong, the final push for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III

By Zack Zimmerman

NXT on WWE Network
Taped July 12, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

The opening video played…

Inside Full Sail Arena, the crowd chanted “NXT” while graphics hyped Ruby Riot vs. Billie Kay and Drew McIntyre vs. Roderick Strong for the show…

Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson, and Nigel McGuinness checked in from the commentary table and briefly discussed the NXT Women’s Championship match which will take place at NXT Takeover Brooklyn 3. In the ring, NXT GM William Regal was standing by to introduce the competitors and host a contract signing.

Ember Moon was introduced first, followed by the reigning and defending champion Asuka. Ember cut a robotic scripted promo about how Asuka had beaten everyone and surpassed Goldberg’s undefeated streak. The crowd chanted “Asuka” like they’d chant “Goldberg.”

Moon pointed out that she was the only one Asuka cut corners to beat however, when she shoved the ref at Takeover Orlando. Moon’s promo continued and continued to be hard to listen to. She said that she was going to defeat Asuka, end her undefeated streak, and become NXT Women’s Champion. A small percentage of people cheered, while a larger percentage chanted “no.” Moon signed the contract.

Asuka signed right away. She then took the microphone and screamed an aggressive, passionate promo in Japanese before staring Moon in the eyes and holding up the championship to end the segment…

The Street Prophets were advertised to be in action next… [C]

Zim Says: Oh man, after that promo I’ve never been more certain that Ember Moon is NOT the one to dethrone Asuka. That was so hard to listen to honestly. It was like something an indie wrestler would practice into their iPhone and watch back, except this was live in front of a crowd in what should’ve been the most intense go-home promo of her career. Asuka’s Japanese promo was considerably better and I don’t speak Japanese. That all aside, the match should be good.

In his office, William Regal was telling a story to the camera crew when Lars Sullivan walked in. He timidly apologized for “being bad” during his recent tag team matches, but promised to “be good” if he’s given one more tag match. Regal said he gets one more chance, and Sullivan walked off…

Back in the arena, The Street Prophets made their entrance. Their opponents, the duo of the giant Lars Sullivan and Chris Silvio, who looked like he was doing an indie Michael PS Hayes gimmick.

1. The Street Prophets (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) vs. Lars Sullivan and Chris Silvio. Dawkins ran through Silvio with a shoulder tackle and Ford celebrated so big that he ran a lap through the crowd and then jumped back up onto the apron. The Prophets hit a low dropkick and big splash combo and then finished Silvio off with the Spinebuster/frog splash combo for the win.

The Street Prophets won in about 1:40.

The Prophets celebrated, meanwhile Sullivan stewed in the corner still and looked down at Silvio. He was conflicted, as he promised Regal he’d be good, but he was clearly pissed off. He got into the ring and stood over Silvio, but rather than attacking him Sullivan hoisted Silvio over his shoulder and carried him to the back…

A graphic advertised Ruby Riot vs. Bille Kay up next…

Cameras picked up backstage where Sullivan carried Silvio out a back exit. Sullivan dumped him to the ground and then rammed him hard into a bike rack. Sullivan followed up by chokeslamming Silvio into a dumpster, and Mauro Ranallo on commentary justified that Sullivan had promised Regal no in-ring altercations, so he took his altercation outside… [C]

Zim Says: Sullivan is awesome and a star waiting to be made. I wish I could say the same for The Prophets, but at this point the only thing I’m sold on is Ford’s charisma. Dawkins has shown no growth in years and until I see a fundamentally solid tag match from them, I’m not convinced simply by the two tandem moves they do.

Back in the arena, Billie Kay made her entrance with Peyton Royce alongside. The bit from last week with Riot walking in the background of Kay and Royce’s silly video. Ruby Riot was out next to a good reaction from the crowd.

2. Billie Kay (w/ Peyton Royce) vs. Ruby Riot. Riot got several quick roll-up attempts before Kay caught her with a kick to the head and a rolling elbow to take control. Riot tried to build momentum, but Kay used Eat Defeat to cut her off and maintain momentum.

Kay used an armlock suplex and transitioned into a grounded armlock. Riot worked back to her feet and mounted a comeback. She drove  Kay’s face into the middle turnbuckle with both knees which Nigel called the Deadly Night Shade.

Riot knocked Royce off the apron and then hit an arm-wringer into an overhead kick for the pinfall.

Ruby Riot pinned Billie Kay in about 4:00.

Riot celebrated and made her way up the ramp. Meanwhile in the ring, Peyton Royce took a microphone and said that Ruby is a tattooed loser who will never be “iconic.” Riot didn’t seem to care as she had won, and walked out with a smile. Royce helped Kay out of the ring, and Kay was noticeably bleeding from the nose…

A graphic advertised the main event of Drew McIntyre vs. Roderick Strong… [C]

Zim Says: Riot is consistently impressive in the ring, while Kay and Royce are consistently undercard fodder. It’s somewhat disappointing as I think they could be a fun act, but they’ve really settled into the role of NXT’s stepping stones.

Back in the arena, the commentators ran down the Takeover Brooklyn 3 card. It includes Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Almas, Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami, Ember Moon vs. Asuka for the women’s championship, and Sanity vs. The Authors of Pain for the tag titles.

An Authors of Pain vignette aired. Paul Ellering narrated with his usual banter about books and dominance and prophecy whine The Authors were shown destroying guys. It then showed Sanity attacking them several weeks ago and the ensuing brawls they’ve had. It concluded with the final shot being Sanity standing over the Authors…

A graphic advertised the main event up next… [C]

Back in the arena, Roderick Strong made his entrance. Drew McIntyre was out next. The commentators reminded viewers that the stipulation of the match per William Regal is that Strong earns a future match with Bobby Roode if he wins. However Drew McIntyre receives his NXT Championship match this Saturday in Brooklyn regardless of the result of this match.

3. Roderick Strong vs. Drew McIntyre. McIntyre showed off his power advantage, but before the end of the first minute Strong caught him with a kick that rocked him. McIntyre got a bit of offense in, but Strong came right back with a dropkick and another that sent McIntyre out of the ring.

At ringside, McIntyre sent Strong crashing into the ringpost shoulder first. McIntyre had the better of rowdy for a short time, but at the fight went up onto the ring apron, Strong lifted McIntyre in position for a back suplex and dropped him right onto the edge of the ring. [C]

Roddy remained in control back in the ring as he dropped McIntyre across his knee with a backbreaker. He settled into a grounded abdominal stretch and then put a beating on McIntyre in the corner. McIntyre managed to fight out of another grounded hold and then sent Roddy flying overhead with a snap belly-to-belly throw.

The two battled back to their feet mid-ring before McIntyre rallied with running forearms and a diving axe handle. He connected with a reverse Alabama Slam for a two-count as the match passed the eight-minute mark. McIntyre stopped his foot in the corner signaling the end, but as he charge, Roddy leapt up and caught him with knee strike.

Roddy followed up with a capture backbreaker for a two-count of his own and then went to the top turnbuckle. McIntyre sprung up with a headbutt, but Roddy crotched him and hung him in  the tree of woe. Suddenly, Bobby Roode hit the ring and knocked Roddy off the top turnbuckle and the ref called for the bell.

Roderick Strong won by apparent DQ in about 10:10.

Roode put a beating on Roddy at ringside and then got into the ring where he stood over McIntyre. Roode lifted McIntyre to his feet and then drove him right back down with a Glorious DDT. Roode climbed the turnbuckle in the corner where Roddy was slumped at ringside and held the title up.

Roode then stood over McIntyre in the ring and declared that it was “Glorious!” He held the title over his head and the commentators gave one last plug for Takeover Brooklyn this Saturday to close the show…

An NXT Takeover Brooklyn 3 video package aired before the show went off-air…

Zim Says: Nice match while it lasted but it really never even had the chance to get going like it could’ve in another situation. It doesn’t feel like they’ve positioned McIntyre as the next champion, but it also seems like something completely realistic that could move the Roode/Strong feud away from the title and in a grudge fight direction.

Overall, they didn’t really make the most of their final push for Takeover to get me excited. The Ember Moon and Asuka segment was bad, the middle of the show was irrelevant with regards to Takeover this Saturday, and the main event was fine but not a hard sell by any means. This isn’t the strongest Takeover lineup they could run, but it’s still a solid card and I’m surprised the final hype for it wasn’t better.

I’ll be back with all-access audio tomorrow, meaning it’s available to everyone reading this. I’ll also be back on Saturday with live coverage of Takeover and audio coverage afterwards with Jason Powell. You’ll get your fix of me this weekend, so be sure to check back in. Thanks for reading.

Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.

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